Monday, December 21, 2009

11 Ways to Create and Maintain Balance (part 2)

By: Chalene Johnson
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7. Make a "Transitional" To-Do list: Sometimes changes should be gradual. If, for example, your number one priority is to quit your current job and work a full-time fitness career, quitting your "day job" tomorrow might make it tough to fork over the car payment at the end of the month. Consider a gradual transition. Speak to your employer about the possibility of working just 5-10 less hours per week. If that's not an option, propose a flexible work schedule that allows you to do personal training, or pursue fitness opportunities, during prime time hours.

8. Openly communicate your priorities with others. This serves as a constant reminder to yourself and a means of personal accountability. In communicating your priorities, you also establish your boundaries. "I openly express my priorities, so those who I work with always know and respect where I am coming from." Barbara Brodowsky, group exercise instructor for 24 Hour Fitness, Lancaster, CA.

9. Take cues from people closest to you: Sometimes we are too close to a situation to be able to make clear decisions. Listen to the questions and comments of those you most trust and admire. Has your significant other suggested that you look tired, seem distant, stressed or stretched too thin? Has more than one friend suggested you lighten your load or teach fewer classes? Have you seen a change in the behavior or mood of one or more family members? Projects consultant for AFAA, Amy Nestor, agrees, "When every day begins to feel hectic, rushed, and stressful and my mind feels like it's racing, I know it's time to take a look at what I'm doing. I also take cues from my family.”

10. Practice saying, “Can I get back to you on that?” If you know you should say “No” more often, yet find yourself saying, “Yes” just to be accommodating, try using “Thanks for thinking of me! Can I get back to you on that?" Just a few days will give you the time you need to evaluate the opportunity to see how it fits with your priorities, and if need be, politely decline.

11. Identify, and then remove your balance blockers. All of us have self-imposed balance blockers. These are deep rooted feelings that keep us in unhealthy or stressful situations based on fear or insecurities, like the need to please, misplaced guilt, fear of rejection, false appearances, believing that you’re supposed to be able to "do it all", perfectionism and more. These items will inhibit your ability to make sound decisions; decisions based on “your” life’s priorities. These 11 steps will change your life, as you strive to strike a balance; just know you’re not perfect. If you can’t put them all into action immediately, pick one or two and start there. Always keep in mind what your goals are and what’s important to you. By doing so, your entire being will be transformed!

Whether you want to try for the promotion at work, gain confidence, learn how to better connect with others, or maybe, you just want to improve yourself. You can do it, one step at a time.

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